Quick refresher: I am in Chiang Mai as a dorm assistant in a boarding home for missionary teens attending school away from home.
I have seen first-hand close the relationships are between every teen in this dorm. Though they vary in age, nationality, and interests, these teens see each other as brothers and sisters. They are not polite with each other…they do not tiptoe around the house. These kids tease each other. They sit on each other, bump elbows at the table, and argue over which movies are good or not. They are also quick to help each other with homework or life issues. Several times, I have seen one of the teens ask for help with their homework, only to be quickly surrounded by 2 or 3 of the dorm kids eager to help. When someone expresses stress, they have 18 others in the dorm to listen to them and encourage them and pray for them.
I love the relationships I see here. It makes me often consider what each of these teens would have been like without their experience in the dorm. Dorm life teaches you responsibility (chores) and consideration for others. It provides you with a huge support system (if you are willing to accept it). You have a whole team to encourage you and help you. You have lots of people to spend time with you and play games or go running or just be in the same room while you do homework. I know there are disadvantages to this boarding school life, but for now, I am overwhelmed with all the advantages I see. I will be reporting on disadvantages too, but for now, let’s just be happy 🙂